Rivergods – Signs

January 01, 1970





It has
been eight years since the Rivergods released their last album, Time Has Come. The Americana
outfit, led by the husband and wife team of Ben and Nancy Parent, has kept
active gigging around their home base of New
London, Connecticut
since then. Most of the songs on new album, Signs,
will make good additions to what has been an engaging live show.


Rivergods synthesize different threads of American music into a rootsy, often
genteel mix, sometimes reminiscent of the Jayhawks. The title track is a good
old-fashioned folk rave-up with touches of gospel, partly thanks to guest
backing vocalist Vivian Sessoms and the Hammond B-3 flourishes provided by Mike
Finnigan. There is plenty of twangy lead guitar on “Signs” and “Fallout Shelter”
to please country fans. There is a bit of bouncy pop, as well, on “Viewfinder”
and “Fallout Shelter,” both of which feature Nancy Parent on vocals.  


The low
point is “Roadrunner Blues,” a predictable minor chord drone with a cartoon
metaphor that just doesn’t hold up. But it is followed shortly thereafter by
one of the best songs the band has written to date in “Shallow End.” “Shallow
End” fades in somewhat lazily and almost sneaks up on you. It’s the kind of
summation of life wisdom you’d get when you find yourself suddenly sober after
a night of trying, unsuccessfully, to drink away a bad day, week, or year. Keep
your friends close, say what you mean to say while there’s still time,
everything is temporary. Just a little something to think about before the


DOWNLOAD: “Signs,” “Fallout Shelter,”
Viewfinder” NICK A. ZAINO

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